Among the items that the NFL’s Competition Committee discussed earlier this year was whether to propose a rule change that would allow for replay review of illegal hits to the head in order to determine if the player delivering the hit should be ejected from the game.
That type of targeting rule is in place in college football, but it will not be coming to the professional ranks. NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent told Mark Maske of the Washington Post that the committee will not issue a proposal to enact a similar rule because they do not want replay to take the place of officials making determinations about ejections for in-game actions.
“We feel that between our unnecessary roughness rules, our unsportsmanlike conduct rules and our defenseless player rules, the officials have the power to eject a player if they feel that’s warranted,” Vincent said. “We want to get it right.”
The league will be voting on a proposal allowing replay to be used as a criteria to eject players for things that happen outside the course of play. That would include actions by Rob Gronkowski and Mike Evans that later led to suspensions last season.
While the targeting rule won’t be part of the agenda at the league meetings, another college-style rule could be on the table. Vincent said the committee is still considering backing a proposal from the Jets that would cap pass interference penalties at 15 yards rather than spotting the ball at the spot of the foul. Generally speaking, proposals backed by the committee have a better chance of passing than ones simply proposed by teams.